PROVERBS 7


2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

God requires from His children an all-round obedience.

All His commands are equally binding. There is to be no picking and choosing-no carefulness in one direction, and carelessness in another. There must be a genuine endeavour to fulfil God's will in ways disagreeable as well as agreeable.

Covetousness has to be eschewed, but evil speaking quite as much so. We have to be honest, but also chaste. Let us take care lest our good points blind our eyes to our bad ones. We are not safe-not acceptable to Christ-unless we show a general all-round thoroughness, avoiding exceptions and reservations. This thought will bear unlimited amplification.

To take one or two illustrations. No amount of zeal and activity in the public proclamation of the truth will exempt us from the obligation of enlightening and rearing our own children in the fear of God.

No amount of warm love and amiability towards the brethren at the meetings will excuse coldness and churlishness with our own kith and kin at home. No amount of time spent at committee meetings will justify neglect of our daily readings.

God's law is very searching; it leaves no corner of our mental nature untouched. It takes away all ground for spiritual swagger. Great is the man who can discern his own weaknesses, and has pluck enough to grapple with them.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Sept 1901



13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

THE NATURE OF THE TRANSGRESSION


"The eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked."

The effect produced upon the woman by the eating of the forbidden fruit, was the excitation of the propensities. By the transgression of the law of God, she had placed herself in a state of sin; in which she had acquired that maturity of feeling, which is known to exist when females attain to womanhood.

The serpent's part had been performed in her deception; and sorely was she deceived. Expecting to be equal to the gods, the hitherto latent passions of her animal nature only were set free; and though she now knew what evil sensations and impulses were, as they had done before her, she had failed in attaining to the pride of her life -- an equality with them as she had seen them in their power and glory.

In this state of animal excitation, she presented herself before the man, with the fruit so "pleasant to the eyes." Standing now in his presence she became the tempter, soliciting him to sin. She became to him an

"evil woman flattering with her tongue;" "whose lips dropped as a honeycomb, and her mouth was smoother than oil."

She found him "a young man void of understanding" like herself. We can imagine how

"she caught him, and kissed him; and with an impudent face, and her much fair speech, she caused him to yield."

He accepted the fatal fruit, "and eat with her," consenting to her enticement, "not knowing that it was for his life;" though God had said, transgression should surely be punished with death.

As yet inexperienced in the certainty of the literal execution of the divine law, and depending upon the remedial efficacy of the Tree of Lives, he did not believe that he should surely die. He saw every thing delightful around him, and his beautiful companion with the tempting fruit; and yet he was told that his eyes were shut! What wonderful things might he not see if his eyes were opened. And to be "as the gods" too, "knowing good and evil," was not this a wisdom much to be desired?

The fair deceiver had, at length, succeeded in kindling in the man the same lusts that had taken possession of herself. His flesh, his eyes, and his pride of life, were all inflamed; and he followed in her evil way "as a fool to the correction of the stocks."

They had both fallen into unbelief. They did not believe God would do what He had promised. This was a fatal mistake. They afterwards found by experience, that in their sin they had charged God falsely; and that what He promises He will certainly perform to the letter of His word. Thus, unbelief prepared them for disobedience; and disobedience separated them from God.

Elpis Israel 1.3.



18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

As the Mosaic narrative gives an account of things natural, upon which things spiritual were afterwards to be established in word and substance, the key to his testimony is found in what actually exits. When, therefore, he tells us that the eyes of Adam and Eve were closed at first, in that he says they were opened by sin, we have to examine ourselves as natural beings for the meaning of his words. Moses, indeed, informs us in what sense, or to what phenomena, their eyes were closed, in saying,

"they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed."

If their eyes had been surreptitiously opened, they would have been ashamed of standing before the Lord Elohim in a state of nudity; and they would have had emotions towards

one another, which would have been inconvenient. But, in their unsinning ignorance of the latent propensities of their nature, shame, which makes the subject of it feel as though he would hide himself in a nutshell, and be buried in the depths of the sea, found no place within them.

They were unabashed; and had they been created with their eyes open, they would have been equally so at all times. But, seeing that their eyes were opened in connexion with, and as the consequence of doing what was forbidden, having

"yielded their members' servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity;"

and their superior faculties being constituted susceptible of the feeling, they were ashamed and "the uncomely parts of the body" became "their shame;" and from that time have been esteemed dishonorable, and invariably "hid."

The inferior creatures have no such feeling as this; because they have never sinned: but the parents of Cain, in their transgression, having served themselves of the members they afterwards concealed, were deeply affected both with shame and fear; and their posterity have ever since more or less partaken of it after the same form.

Having transgressed the divine law, and "solaced themselves with loves," "the eyes of them both were opened" as the consequence; and when opened, "they knew that they were naked," which they did not comprehend before.

"By the law is the knowledge of sin," and "sin is the transgression of law; "

so, having transgressed the law, "they knew they were naked" without waiting for the Lord to reveal it to them, and to permit them the lawful use of one another in His own time. They were quite chagrined at the discovery they had made and sought to mitigate it by a contrivance of their own: so "they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

Although thus corporeally defended from mutual observation, the nakedness of their minds was still exposed. They heard the voice of the Elohim, which had now become terrible; and they hid themselves from His presence amongst the trees.

They had not yet learned, however, that the Lord was not only a God at hand, but a God also afar off; and that none can hide in secret places, and He not see them; for He fills both the heaven and the earth (Jer. 23:23-24). Their concealment was ineffectual against the voice of the Lord, who called out to him, "Where art thou Adam?" And he answered,

"I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

Adam's heart condemned him, therefore he lost his confidence before God (1 John 3:19-22).

Elpis Israel 1.3.